Saturday, January 19, 2008

Indelible Mark

When I sleep, my thoughts open up to new possibilities, and inspiration can lead me in a different direction. Last night, my vision was an indelible marker and its similarity to dementia.

What does an indelible marker have to do with dementia? When someone we love has Alzheimer's or a related dementia, we often think they are fading away as their memories and skills are erased. We grieve for the past and dread the future. Yet, we are blessed with living in the present and find moments of joy radiating in the midst of an ordinary day.

When Jim developed dementia at forty-nine, we knew life would never be the same. Our memories eventually became my memories. The disease stole Jim from me, but it could not steal the indelible mark he left behind.

In the end, instead of erasing Jim, dementia ensured he would never be forgotten. His two pictures on the cover of Alzheimer's Anthology of Unconditional Love are indelible images of Jim. In one picture, he smiles from beneath his favorite Stetson. In the other, he walks away from the camera on a beach in Oregon. I can't imagine his indelible memory living in a happier place.